If Jews and Arabs Can Live in Peace in Israel, Why Not in a Palestinian State?

SEPT. 21 2016

Responding to the hue and cry in the wake of Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement in which the term “ethnic cleansing” was used to describe the Palestinian Authority’s aspirations for the West Bank, Moshe Arens writes:

[E]thnic cleansing is being carried out at this moment in parts of Iraq and Syria. Shiites are getting rid of Sunnis and Sunnis are getting rid of Shiites, and both are getting rid of Christians.

So why did Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent use of that phrase cause such an uproar? Is it because he referred to Judea and Samaria, a territory that the proponents of the “two-state” solution envisage as part of the future Palestinian state? . . . [S]ome people claim that the settlements [there] are illegal and constitute an obstacle to peace, . . . based on the assumption that this area should be reserved for the establishment of a Palestinian state, and this state should be a homogeneous Arab state. [But] it can’t be argued that the removal of the Jews there would not be an act of ethnic cleansing.

Underlying the opposition of many who object to Jewish settlements in the area is the assumption that Jews and Arabs cannot live peaceably together and should therefore be separated. . . . [Everyone involved in this discussion needs] to be reminded of the obvious—that Jews and Arabs are living peaceably together in the state of Israel, and if ever a Palestinian state were to be established existing side by side with Israel in peace, there is no reason it shouldn’t contain a Jewish minority.

As a matter of fact, such a minority might actually prove an economic asset to that state. So what’s all the fuss about?

If American Jews and Israel Are Drifting Apart, What's the Reason?

ELLIOTT ABRAMS

The Twilight of French Jewry, the Twilight of France

ALAIN EL-MOUCHAN

Israel’s Grand Strategy, Explained by One of Its Architects

SEPT. 21 2016

With the Middle East engulfed in war, Israel has sought to stay uninvolved in the turmoil while keeping its borders reasonably secure. Moshe Yaalon, who served until recently as Israel’s defense minister, and previously as the IDF chief of staff, discusses Jerusalem’s current approach to the region, including its policy of nonintervention in “internal Arab conflicts,” its response to terror, and its pursuit and maintenance of alliances with Sunni states not dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. In his view, the greatest threat to Israel remains the Iranian nuclear program, and he urges the U.S. to take a stronger stance against the Islamic Republic. (Interview by Robert Satloff. Video, 92 minutes. A summary is available at the link below.)

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Iranian nuclear programIsrael & ZionismIsraeli grand strategyMiddle EastMoshe Yaalon

Setting the Record Straight about the West’s Role in the Creation of Israel

SEPT. 21 2016

Israel’s detractors regularly claim that the establishment of a Jewish state was part of the European colonial agenda, and that it remains nothing more than an outpost of European imperialism. The reality,Jonathan Adelman and Asaf Romirowsky point out, was closer to the opposite:

Consider the convocation of the First Zionist Congress by Theodor Herzl in Basel in 1897. At the congress there was no real involvement of international powers. Before his death in 1904, Herzl met key leaders in Germany, England, Ottoman Turkey, and the Vatican. While achieving some legitimacy for the movement, he failed to make any deals with them. . . . [Even the] 1917 British Balfour Declaration of support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine was matched by other British promises of Arab sovereignty in the same area. . . .

The refusal of the British colonial masters of Palestine to allow more than a handful of Jews (75,000 in 1939–1944 and none thereafter) into Palestine while millions were eager to emigrate there was matched by the 1939 British declaration that it supported an Arab state in Palestine. . . . [D]uring the 1945-1948 period, England sent 80,000 troops to Palestine to put down any Jewish moves to create a state.

In the November 1947 United Nations vote for [the creation of] a Jewish state and an Arab state in Palestine, the British refused to support the resolution. The winning votes were provided by a bloc that could never be considered a Western colonial power—the Soviet Union and its East European allies. . . .

[In short], the notion that colonial and great powers were the main force behind the creation of Israel is not supported by history. It was precisely the great powers and colonial powers who made the Jewish path to the creation of Israel so very difficult.